History of the Bluetick Coonhound Breed
It is said that the color of the modern Bluetick Coonhound is a clue that the breed is a descendent of the French stag hound called the Grand Bleu de Gascogne. It is also believed that other ancestors of the breed include the English foxhound, curs, and several breeds of other French hounds. The mix was crossed again with American hounds which created a dog that offered more endurance and good cold-trailing abilities. Originally, the Bluetick Coonhound was classified as an English Coonhound, but the Bluetick breeders diverted from English breeders in the mid 1940s because they wanted to develop a breed that produced a larger and slower cold-trailing dog that would better fit their hunting needs. Much of this selective breeding took place in Louisiana. Originally recognized by the UKC as one of the English fox and coonhounds (which also included English Coonhounds and the Treeing Walker in the breed), the Bluetick was eventually separated into its own breed. Probably the best-known Bluetick of the time is a dog named "Smokey," who enjoys popularity as the official mascot of the University of Tennessee.
Size and Appearance of the Bluetick Coonhound Breed
With powerful shoulders and straight, muscular front legs the Bluetick coonhound is a breed with energy and endurance. The hindquarters are long and well-muscled, and the compact feet are well-arched and cat-like. The round, dark brown eyes offer a pleading yet pleasant expression. This breed has very good eyesight, and it can work well at night. The Bluetick has long, thin ears that taper at the end, and the muzzle is rectangular and well-proportioned. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The muscular neck is well-proportioned to the length of the body, and the medium-length tail is carried up in a curve. The short, dense coat of the Bluetick is rather coarse, and the tricolor coat is unique in its speckling. The ticking is really black hair on a white background which lends a bluish color to the coat. The coat features tan spots on the face, particularly over the eyes and on the cheeks. The tail is well-coated. The gait of this breed is best described as steady and determined.
Bluetick Coonhound Temperament
Because of its friendly disposition and devotion to its family, the Bluetick can make a wonderful addition to the family. While this breed is good with children, take care when introducing it to non-canine pets. The hunting instinct is very strong in this breed, and it will likely try to hunt other smaller animals. It is said that the voice of each Bluetick is distinct. Note that this breed has a tendency to slobber or drool. The Bluetick is an intelligent dog that loves to hunt as well as provide companionship.
Bluetick Coonhound Recommended Maintenance
The coarse coat of the Bluetick is easy to maintain. An occasional brushing is all that is needed. Be sure to check the ears on a regular basis to prevent infection. This breed is not for those who live in an apartment. The Bluetick needs plenty of exercise every day, and a large, fenced-in yard is highly recommended. Be sure to only let this dog off the leash in safe, enclosed areas, or it may follow its nose if it catches a scent.
Bluetick Coonhound Health
Life span: 11-12 years
Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: ear infections
Occasionally seen: none
Suggested tests: none